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"Gotha Manuscript Talks" on Ismaili collected manuscripts from Syria

The Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt cordially invites all interested parties to the next online event in the "Gotha Manuscript Talks" series on Wednesday, 3 November, at 6.15 pm. Professor Verena Klemm (Leipzig) will speak about the Ismaili manuscripts from Syria under the title "Hidden Literary History".

Social and political factors, such as mission, emigration, persecution and diaspora, contributed significantly to the widespread dissemination and diversification of doctrine and literature of the heterodox Ismaili community. Using a group of composite manuscripts (maǧmū'āt), the lecture looks at the literary history of the Ismailis in Syria, whose tradition has been largely hidden, unrecorded or destroyed. Multiple text and composite manuscripts prove to be real treasure troves that can offer insight into the circulation and reception of texts as well as into the conditions and forms of their transmission and preservation.

The speaker Verena Klemm is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Oriental Institute of the University of Leipzig with a focus on culture and history. She initiated several DFG projects to record and research the collection of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman manuscripts at the University of Leipzig, such as the project on the Damascus private library Rifāʿīya (Refaiya). Since 2018, she has been head of the long-term project "Bibliotheca Arabica. New History of Arabic Literature" at the Saxon Academy of Sciences. Her publications cover the history and literature of the Fatimid period, Islamic manuscripts in a cultural-historical context, and modern Arabic literature and literary debate.

The Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt preserves the third largest collection of oriental manuscripts in Germany. These approximately 3,400 manuscripts, most of which came into the library around 1800, are relevant to all fields of scholarship and shed light on the most diverse aspects of manuscript cultures. By inviting renowned researchers to the "Gotha Manuscript Talks", the Gotha Research Library would like to use the material in a webinar series to provide impulses for an increased exchange on manuscript cultures across disciplinary boundaries and to bring researchers and interested parties into conversation with each other about oriental manuscripts. The moderator is Dr. Feras Krimsti, who is in charge of the library's collection of oriental manuscripts.

The event will take place online. Registration is not required.

Link to the event

further information / contact:

Curator of the Oriental Manuscript Collection
(Gotha Research Library)
Gotha Research Library (Gotha, Schlossplatz 1)
Office hours
on appointment
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